Responding to the current COVID-19 visitor restrictions and lock-downs across aged care facilities, Baptistcare is leading the way in keeping their residents feeling cared for and connected by creating a new, interactive virtual volunteering program.
And with so many families forced to stay home with nothing to do, there has never been a better time for people to keep busy by helping others – without even leaving their loungerooms.
However, a new breed of volunteer is needed for this virtual giving – people that are tech-savvy, with their own smart devices or camera phones, and who are confident using platforms like Skype, Facetime and Zoom.
Anyone aged between 18-65, who is a great listener and loves talking with seniors is welcome, with online orientation and training provided. The hours are flexible with volunteers generally spending half an hour, twice a week, with residents.
Creative ways to keep residents engaged and happy are being developed with the usual companionship and care activities adapted to work online – so visits, long chats, book reading, quizzes and games will take place via technology, not in person.
Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell said that isolation and loneliness are the biggest concerns during this time when the whole community is having to stay away from aged care facilities.
“A highlight for many of our residents is enjoying the company of family and friends who visit regularly. Now they are unable to do this, the residents are missing those warm connections and interactions. And then there are others, who for varied reasons, don’t have any contact with friends of family and may feel alone.”
“Virtual volunteers will make the world of difference to not only our residents, but to our team members, who care deeply about the happiness and wellbeing of everyone living with us. With so many people stuck at home, looking for something productive to do, we ask that you become one of our online angels.”
“Help make this Easter, which will be a difficult time for seniors, a special one for an older person needing a friend.”
For more information visit the volunteering page at www.baptistcare.com.au